Tanabata, the Japanese Star Festival, celebrates the legend of Orihime, the weaver princess, and Hikoboshi, the herder. These lovers, separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.

to 8:00 pm

Lunar Lawn, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens

Regular ticket: $20
Hillwood and JASWDC Members: $10
Student: $7
Child 6-18: $5
Free for children under 6



Enjoy a summer evening relaxing in Hillwood’s spectacular gardens, and take part in festive outdoor entertainment on Hillwood’s expansive Lunar Lawn:

  • Listen to delightful music performed outdoors on the Lunar Lawn by the Washington Toho Koto Society.
  • Explore the enchanting Japanese-style garden.
  • Bring a blanket or lawn chairs from home and enjoy a picnic on the spacious Lunar Lawn. Sandwiches, drinks, and snacks are available for purchase from Merriweather To Go.
  • Create and decorate your own paper lantern to take home.
  • Write poems and special wishes on colorful strips of paper, called tanzaku, to hang on bamboo, following the traditional Japanese custom to celebrate Tanabata.
  • Try your hand at Japanese calligraphy and origami.
  • While here, be sure to explore our newest exhibition, Glass: Art. Beauty. Design.


5:30-7 p.m.

7-8 p.m. | Concert by the Washington Toho Koto Society  


  • Please bring your own picnic blankets or lawn chairs for seating on the lawn.
  • Picnicking is welcome at this event. Please note our liquor license does not allow patrons to bring in outside alcohol.
  • Food and drinks, including beer and wine, will be available from Merriweather To Go.

Click here to see how Hillwood is following the latest health and safety guidance.


If inclement weather forces us to cancel outdoor activities, the koto concert will be live-streamed via Zoom at 7 p.m. All registered participants will receive notice if the program has moved to live stream by 3 p.m. on Friday, July 7.